KUALA LUMPUR: May 16 is a very special date and closely synonymous with teachers in Malaysia. Each year, on this day, teachers will be celebrated for their services and sacrifices in educating the children of the nation.
Hence, to ensure continuous wellbeing of 400,000 teachers whose roles and contribution remain highly significant over time, the West Malaysia Malay Teachers Union (KGMMB) calls on the Ministry of Education (MOE) to issue a guideline on the standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure safety and wellbeing of teachers when they take their students out to attend official events elsewhere.
KGMMB president Jasni Md Kechik said the guideline should be issued to ensure that teachers would be protected from the legal aspect should something go wrong.
“For the time being, if an accident occurs when a teacher brings students out to attend competitions, the student’s next-of-kin can take legal action against the teacher.
“This creates an issue as the teacher would feel trapped between carrying out their responsibilities and facing the risks in the event of a mishap involving their students,” he told Bernama recently.
In the meantime, Persatuan Ikatan Guru-Guru Muslim Malaysia believes that the heavy burden of duties on teachers needs to be resolved promptly to restore the role of teachers as a ‘superhero’ in school.
“We are not denying MOE’s efforts and we realised changes have been made for the betterment. We need to do this for teachers to be seen as superheroes, the teacher’s job should focus more on the personality and academic development of the students,” its president, Mohd Azizee Hasan said, adding that the best way to solve the problem was probably by increasing the number of teachers and assistant teachers.
Azizee also expressed hope that issues related to education graduates from public universities could be solved to avoid overlapping with the teachers from the Institute of Teachers Education (IPG).
Meanwhile, president of the National Parent-Teacher Association Consultative Council (PIBGN) Associate Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Ali Hassan welcomed the nine core thrusts to empower education as announced recently by its minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
He said the nine core thrusts showed that MOE was giving major emphasis on educational development for its staff.
“This is the continuation and improvement of what MOE has been doing. Hence we hope that more significant improvements could be made after this. For instance, for the benefit of the lower income household group (B40) and the disabled (OKU) students, we recommend that special dorms be provided for their needs,” he said.
However, he said, there were some things that need to be attended to such as the teaching of English teaching that had not been addressed to the best possible way.
“All this while, the emphasis was given on the use of English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics but there was no emphasis on mastering the language. Only recently, it is required for English teachers to sit for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET). This is because we feel that English proficiency among the teachers is still unsatisfactory or weak,” he said. — Bernama